Lamar Jackson should still be an option for the Jets

There’s been a ton of speculation on if the Ravens will re-sign quarterback Lamar Jackson.

Last week following their wild-card loss to the Bengals, Ravens coach John Harbaugh attempted to end all rumors of Jackson possibly moving on at his end-of-season press conference.

“100 percent, 200 percent,” Harbaugh said. “There’s no question about it. Lamar Jackson is our quarterback; he’s been our quarterback.

“Everything we’ve done in terms of building our offense and building our team, how we think in terms of [bringing in] people and putting people around him is based on this incredible young man, his talent, his ability and his competitiveness. He and I were talking today too, and the thing about Lamar that to me stands out — he’s an incredible competitor. Lamar Jackson, all he wants to do is win at everything he does.

“Yes, he has a lot of talent, he’s a very bright guy, he has a big heart, but he’s just a massive competitor. That’s the kind of guys we want to build this team around; guys that love football and guys that love to compete.”

The door hasn’t completely closed on the Jets acquiring Jackson, but it’s a complicated situation as they need to see if the Ravens will apply the franchise tag on him prior to the March 7 deadline.

Entering the final year of his rookie contract, the Ravens tried to negotiate a new long-term deal with Jackson before the beginning of the 2022 season. However, they couldn’t come to an agreement before Jackson’s self-imposed deadline before the start of the regular season. Reportedly, Jackson turned down a $250 million contract because he was looking for a fully guaranteed deal similar to the one Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson received last year.

Now it’s unlikely the Ravens would just let Jackson walk despite the apparent hurt feelings between the two sides. Jackson missed 18 consecutive practices to end the year after suffering a knee injury in early December, an injury that was originally thought to keep him out a few weeks.

If Baltimore doesn’t sign Jackson to a long-term deal, the team could place the franchise tag on him until March 7, a week before the start of free agency (March 15). The Ravens have two different franchise tags they could put on Jackson, the exclusive franchise tag and the non-exclusive tag.

The two most significant differences between an exclusive and non-exclusive franchise tag are the incorporation of salary versus cap hit and who holds negotiating power.

An exclusive tag gives the Ravens sole negotiating rights. Should Jackson reject the Ravens’ offer, he cannot sign with another NFL team for the entire 2023 season.

However, for non-exclusive tags, Jackson will have the option to negotiate with other teams. If he receives an offer, the Ravens will have an opportunity to match. If Baltimore opts not to match the offer, it’s entitled to receive two first-round draft picks in exchange for Jackson.

One of the other differences between the exclusive and non-exclusive franchise tag is how the team incorporates the …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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